Standing Alone Against the Dragons (a zuihitsu)


I came in from recess and saw my desk pushed away from the other girls’ desks who had, until quite recently been my friends.  Alone for a moment, I pushed it back.  Then, changing my mind, I pushed it back.  Hiding in the bathroom, hot cheek pressed against the cool tiles, awaiting my public ostracization.

Those of you who did not bring a dish to share from home, stand at the end of the line.
Cheeks on fire.  My mother was in the hospital and my dad was trying to take care of all of us by himself. But I’m not telling them, their silent judgment ringing in my ears.  I take my place at the end of the line.  The food tastes like ash.

You are not in your right mind.
Why, because I don’t love you anymore?
I will do whatever it takes to take our daughter from you.
Because I don’t love you anymore?
Because you ruined all my plans for our (my) future.
The color drains from my cheeks.  I am afraid.

A sick feeling somewhere in the vicinity of my gut; maybe further north.
Are we over?  (I’m afraid to ask, but I do)
I don’t know.
That tells me all I need to know.
I leave the discomfort of our bed, feeling myself begin to shatter.  Cheeks wet with tears.
You left me to gather up all those pieces, never knowing that you crept back in, scavenging, relishing the blood you drew.

No knights saved the fair princess from the monsters.
No paladins.  No destriers.
All figments of forgotten fairy tales.
I stood alone.

I lived.

cegl 4.7.16


16 thoughts on “Standing Alone Against the Dragons (a zuihitsu)

  1. I think this is the most powerful poem I have ever read of yours. I love the last line so much 🙂

  2. No words! Brilliant? No, it is more than that! I drown in your words Cindy. You are such a master at weaving the richest tapestry of words. Your life, the way you have “lived”, will put many a hard hearted people to shame. Love you friend. ❤

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